Buckden were denied a deserved 3 points on Saturday, conceding an equaliser late on in a game which should have been dead and buried by half time.
Injurys and unavailabilities forced the hand of management into making a number a changes to the starting line up form the defeat to Alconbury. The formation was reshuffled to accomodate the new striker, Milton, into a 4-4-2 and Ben Salmon came in at Centre half. Oli Day took over custodian duties in the away goal and James Wou returned after Injury.
The game kicked off in blazing September sunshine and immediately the shape looked very solid and we quickly got a glimpses of a very promising partnership up top with Ross and Milton hassling and harrying the Bar Hill back line. The pressure told, after some neat interplay and numerous set piece throw ins and corners Buckden went ahead after 5 minutes when Ross rose well to knock the ball goalwards from a long throw and the defender could only head into the roof of the net. 1 nil and what a start to the game. Within minutes Buckden were two up, the rattled Bar Hill midfield was being run ragged by a rampant Josh who fed Milton who turned and shot towards goal, a somewhat tame efforts decieved the keeper, who didnt cover himself in glory and it was 2-0. 'If you dont shoot, you dont score!!' - that has been the message alll preseason and Milton does not need an invitation to let a shot off.
So a deserved 2 nil lead with barely 10 minutes gone, tails up Buckden were knocking the ball all round the park, the back four looking like they had played together for years, stroking the ball into midfield and marshalling the Bar hill attackers away from dangerous areas.
The home sides main threat appeared to be from long throws into the box which posed a threat which OliDay snuffed out with some commanding punches. To be fair to Bar Hill they didnt wilt under the obvious gap in class at that stage between the sides and resorted to a more direct approach which paid dividends on the half hour mark. A big old hoof from the home keeper was misjudged by CD and Oli was caught in no mans land and easily lobbed by the Bar Hill attacker - 2-1 and game on. The first half continued with little incident, both sides content they had a foothold in the game.
Buckden started the 2nd half very strongly making clear openings down both flanks, especially sub Dom and James Wou Wou. We really need to work on chance conversion as we could have killed off Bar Hill at this stage, however it remained a contest.
Strong attacking play just failed to materialise into a goal with goal line clearances and some wayward shooting thwarting the hard working front 4.
To cut a long story short - CD went off with cramp and this unsettled the previously solid defence - fair play to Bar Hill, they really did battle to the end and deserve credit for their equaliser which came with minutes to spare, a scrappy goal from a corner.
A very good game for the spectators with well over 50 watching ended and was, on reflection, a reasonably fair result. However, a dispappointing performance from the ref marred what was a keenly contested fixture between 2 good sides. The ref missed or misinterpreted several key decisions and in particular a stone wall Buckden penalty who played a terrible advantage.
We go on in good spirit and some good lessons learnt.